Thursday is launch day for Twitter #Music, the new and much-hyped music discovery service. Haven't been following the #Music story? Here's the 30-second primer: The platform tracks the Twitter activity of a range of acts, and highlights trending bands, singers, and rappers on its tiled homepage. In addition, you can search for "emerging" artists or have Twitter recommend an act, based on the artists you already follow.
Click on one of the tiles, and a short MP3 will play; if you've got a Spotify or Rdio account, you can listen to the whole song.
"Twitter and music go great together. People share and discover new songs and albums every day," Stephen Philips of Twitter wrote on the Twitter blog. "Many of the most-followed accounts on Twitter are musicians, and half of all users follow at least one musician. This is why artists turn to Twitter first to connect with their fans – and why we wanted to find a way to surface songs people are tweeting about."
So how does the software hold up? Well, over at 9to5Mac, Zac Hall speculates that the #Music app could end up being a "much more developed and useful version" of Ping, the Apple discovery service that was officially closed last September.
"Overall, Twitter #Music demonstrates a great degree of polish and swiftness," Hall writes. "Unlike Twitter apps, Twitter #Music isn’t shy about having a little design personality while still maintaining more than enough branding presence."
But don't expect Twitter #music to revolutionize the way we listen to music online. As ReadWrite's John Paul Titlow notes, #Music is a decent enough recommendation engine – it's just not a replacement for your usual player.
"The music-listening part is only really worthwhile to those of us who pay for premium Spotify or Rdio accounts," Titlow writes. "Otherwise, we're left with a mere iTunes snippet and the option to buy the whole track. And if you do have Rdio or Spotify, you're going to continue to use those services' apps for the majority of your listening. Listening to music isn't the main draw of Twitter #Music, just a very nice touch."
For now, Twitter #Music is available only on the Web and as a free iOS app; an Android release is expected at some point, although Twitter has not given any indication as to when exactly that app might launch.
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